Entebbe airport expansion will spur growth
Connectivity is critical for sustaining Uganda’s economic growth. There is no doubt the country has shortages on infrastructure, in particular airports and ports around strategic areas around Lake Victoria. The recent announcement by Uganda Civil Aviation Authority that plans are afoot to build new facilities at Entebbe International Airport is welcome news to both tourists and business community. One can only wish that the slow progress that has characterized such projects would be missing. In this light, the Civil Aviation’s announcement that other airports will start commercial operations in coming years is greatly welcome. There is need for CAA to refurbish the outdated and overrun airports across the country to drive the aviation industry to greater heights and that would also help in revival plans of Uganda Airlines. Last year, some 1.23 million passengers used the airport, though its capacity is expected to handle up to 3 million passengers and, according to CAA, the plans for future expansions are already underway.
Entebbe is just one of several cities airports that will see changes to its air infrastructure according to country’s vision 2040. Entebbe International Airport will also have a brand spanking new facility soon, which can handle double the number of passengers a year. Other busy hubs, such as Gulu Airport in northern Uganda are to be expanded in coming years. All these developments mean that in the next five years, Uganda’s air hubs will be improved, further opening up the country. Uganda’s aviation industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Privately owned domestic carrier Air Uganda has been buying newer, larger aircraft to accommodate the growing number of passengers. The opening of Entebbe International Airport would be a major milestone and can help Uganda become a regional commercial hub. The government plans to accelerate more such facilities in other regions of the country can only give more hope to millions of Ugandans that future is brighter than they expect.